Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Biggest story of Trump's first 100 days is his survival. After he flipped six blue states and won 100 more electoral votes than Romney did in 2012, legal efforts to overturn his election began. These were accompanied by street violence and chastened outgoing Pres. Obama ordering up 'proof' that his badly beaten Democrats hadn't lost on their own but because of Putin. Yet Trump is still President-Goodwin, NY Post, 4/25/17

"When Trump and his family took a Manhattan hotel stage to claim victory, they looked as shell-shocked as the rest of the world. He was scoring a smashing upset by flipping six blue states and adding 100 electoral votes to the 206 Mitt Romney won four years earlier."...

4/25/17, "The biggest story of Trump’s first 100 days? His survival." NY Post, Michael Goodwin [Michael Goodwin is a democrat who sees himself as an independent. He voted for Obama in 2008] 

"Unless the world ends before Saturday, most assessments of President Trump’s first 100 days will include a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly. The emphasis will reveal more about those doing the grading than Trump himself.

If you liked him from the start, you can cite real progress, such as growing economic confidence and Trump’s successful meetings with foreign leaders. He is trying to keep faith with his campaign promises, though he failed at repealing ObamaCare.

If you were immune to his message and the messenger from the beginning, you still are. You see stumbles that suggest White House incompetence, doubt whether Trump fully separated himself from his businesses and worry he’ll start World War III with a tweet. 

Yet the polarized reaction following a polarized election is not the whole story. Because we are not yet at the juncture where anything involving Trump can be taken for granted, the 100-day ritual has special meaning. To understand my point, let’s go back to the beginning — to the wee hours of November 9th.

When Trump and his family took a Manhattan hotel stage to claim victory, they looked as shell-shocked as the rest of the world. He was scoring a smashing upset by flipping six blue states and adding 100 electoral votes to the 206 Mitt Romney won four years earlier.

The jubilation among his supporters offered a stark contrast to the weeping and wailing of Hillary Clinton’s. She had called Trump to concede — we learned later she did so only after President Obama insisted — but kept out of sight in the crushing end to her quest.

Or was it? For within hours, her supporters took their anger to the streets, denouncing Trump as “Not My President” in cities across America. They continued for days, and some were punctuated by violence.

Legal efforts to overturn the election also began. One, led by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, focused on demanding recounts in three states Trump narrowly won —Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Stein looked to be a stalking horse, and Clinton’s team quickly joined the effort."...

[Ed. note: Regarding Minnesota: "Minnesota is a same day registration state, and more than 500,000 voters register on the day of a presidential election....Hillary Clinton reportedly won Minnesota by around 45,000 votes."

The state certified that Hillary won but as of Jan. 26, 2017, no one really knew who won Minnesota. As of 1/26/17, thousands who registered and voted on the same day had yet to be verified by the state. 1/26/17, "Did Donald Trump Carry Minnesota?" Powerline, John Hinderaker 

And: "Trump’s coattail effect was big for down-ballot candidates in some Minnesota districts: after all, he came within 1.5 percentage points of Democrat Hillary Clinton in Minnesota, where a Republican hasn’t won electoral votes since 1972." 2/13/17, "Democrats spent more than Republicans on the 2016 legislative election and lost seats. Was it all a waste?", Greta Kaul ("Data reporter")]

(continuing): "A separate challenge to the results focused on persuading electoral college delegates in red states to switch from Trump to Clinton or even to abstain, in hopes of denying him the necessary majority of 270.

The desperate feeling in the air cut both ways — the odds against overturning the results were long, but given the shock of Trump’s upset, there was a sense that anything could happen. The pressure felt enormous and the wheels of American democracy might come flying off.

Clearly, Clinton’s camp held out hope it could steal the election. Her big margin in the popular vote became a rationale, even as she now looked shameless after denouncing Trump during the campaign for his refusal to promise that he wouldn’t contest the results.

Then the Russians came, or rather the Obama administration unleashed a flood of leaks suggesting Trump’s team had colluded with Russia to tip the election. In December, Obama issued sanctions against officials and firms and expelled 35 Russians from the US while ordering his intelligence chiefs to produce a report within a month — while he was still in office.

That report concluded that Vladimir Putin directed propaganda outlets and hackers to sabotage the election and discredit Clinton, with the goal of helping Trump. January also brought the sensational Russian dossier on Trump, which looked like a bombshell until it was exposed as a dud.

No matter, the hothouse talk of impeachment grew, and social media carried numerous posts about assassination. Madonna talked of blowing up the White House and others spoke ominously of “stopping” Trump.

Each outrage was quickly replaced by a new one, with shadowy stories about Trump’s teams contact with Russia appearing on the eve of his inauguration. With violence rising in Washington’s streets even as the historic ceremony began, it seemed possible the handover of power might not be peaceful....

Yet, here we are, and Donald J. Trump is still America’s 45th President. His survival is the biggest story of his first 100 days.

Trump has sometimes been very good — Neil Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court — but he has been spectacularly lucky in his enemies, with the Democratic Party determined to destroy itself in a spiral of vicious radicalism. A new poll says 67 percent of Americans think the Dems are out of touch with their concerns, making Trump’s historically-low approval rating of 42 percent look respectable.

The media, of course, is still biased and, after failing to elect Clinton, turned on Trump with savagery and cartoonish exaggerations. One New York Times story actually said his cabinet met in the dark because nobody knew how to turn on the White House lights. Oh, please.

At some point, the president will not be gifted with such low expectations and hapless opponents. We are probably close to that phase when the world comes to accept as fact Trump’s presidency. 

That doesn’t mean everything will be normal, but it does mean he will be judged by customary standards: Whether he is earning the trust of more Americans and getting big things done with Congress.

If he does, and I remain optimistic, he will be a consequential president who made America better and safer.

And if he’s really, really good, he might even make it great again. We should all want that."


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